The summer months were freedom. After nine months in the slammer (some called this school), the summer was a joy. On a good day, not storming or too hot, our neighborhood gang would start the day anywhere between eight and ten in the morning. Quaker Oats or a large bowl of
Cheerios's would go a long way into the day. Who ever was the first up and running generally got to pick the activity of the day.
We usually played "army" at least once a day where you divided up into teams and had "seek and destroy missions". It was really like hide and seek only when you found someone on the other side you shot them, or at least shot at them, while you raced between hiding place to hiding place. We always seemed to use the terms "you can't hit a moving target" in order to not get killed, although once you agreed you were killed, you had to sit out until there was only one standing. We all had our favorite guns, and army outfits. Mine of course was the best since uncle Gayle had given me his army belt, army helmet, and army compass. The compass was amazing. It had a way that you could open it up and look down a image finder to direct your path. The needle would move about a circular field of gold colored letters and numbers directing east, northeast, north northeast, and all kinds of places. The gang always loved to watch it spin, and each would take a turn holding the magic needle. Which direction would it point?
I have lost all contact with those guys. I suspect some have died, and most by now are ready to retire. The direction in life for each of us was certainly different, but on those summer days of freedom, the compass pointed us in the right direction.